Guides & Staff
guides and workshop leaders possess excellent training and first aid skills
to help ensure a safe outdoor experience, but that's only part of the
story. They're chosen because of their outstanding skills and their ability
to convey that knowledge.
Our director paddles for the cover shot of 2004's Kayak
Touring Magazine. This was taken at our winter base in the Bay Islands
Michael Gray founded Uncommon Adventures in 1984 a couple of years after
getting a degree in Environmental Interpretation at MSU. With nearly 30
years in the business, Michael is one of the most experienced instructors
and guides in the Great Lakes region, if not the country as a whole! He's
led trips all over the world including Alaska, New Zealand and Central
America. Of particular note is Michael's reputation as a phenomenal backcountry
cook. Our guests often say they don't eat as well at home or even in restaurants!
Michael's cooking presentations/demonstrations are among the most popular
sessions at the countries leading kayak symposiums, and his articles appear
in major kayak publications, websites, and, by popular demand, his upcoming
cookbook! Having taught outdoor skills and environmental workshops all
of his adult life, Michael interprets wild places with warmth and respect.
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Who says we have to let the kids have all the
fun on this planet? I'd like to thank those who have shared stories,
great meals and wild places with me over the last three decades. I've
enjoyed exploring the outdoors in many ways and in many place, but I
still favor the solitude and clear crisp waters of the Northern Great
Lakes for a pure wilderness experience. Whether with a paddle or a fly
rod in hand, this life, full of rich experience has been a gift. Come
out to play with us this year...we've got a whole new menu of great
experiences for you to choose from."
Andi Shluker Ryon
We are fortunate to add Andi's talents to our Bay Islands programs. While working as the Marine Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, she drafted that state's invasive species management program. Andi is also a certified Scuba instructor which makes her a superb team member when it comes to getting you oriented for snorkeling. Her marine biology training will also help illuminate the inner workings of a coral reef ecosystem for you. As a paddler, she guides numerous week long tours each year in Belize and comes to us from the island of Utila where she lives with her husband, Brad and an ever changing number of dogs. Yeah, we're very lucky that she was in the back yard. Oh, and did I mention that she does an excellent job of leading morning yoga and stretching sessions out on our sunrise dock?
"I have several passions in my life--the one I focus most of my attention on in the warmer months of the year is sea kayaking. Nothing makes me happier than being in my boat paddling, teaching, coaching or guiding. I love that paddling a boat that floats in four inches of water enables me to get into every nook and crevice along a shoreline. I love exploring new venues and discovering exotic destinations in the mid-west of all places! I love leaving my urban existence behind and absorbing the wonders of this beautiful world--and I really enjoy all the people I meet along the way. When I'm not kayaking I'm the rector or senior pastor of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Chicago. A progressive congregation where at least 10 percent of our parishioners share my love of kayaking. By way of qualifications I'm an American Canoe Association (ACA) Open Water Instructor, an ACA Instructor Trainer Candidate and a Level 3 Sea Coach in the British Canoe Union. I teach regularly at many of the sea kayak symposiums in the mid-west and Canada and do my best to paddle the waves off the shoals in Ocean City, Maryland at least once a year."
Note from Michael: Bonnie teaches in both Euro and traditional Greenland styles and is a star attraction at a number of kayak symposia. I feel lucky and honored that Bonnie lends her time, skills and good humor to Uncommon Adventures.
Robert Schrack is co-owner of Adventure Crafter with his wife Kerrie. He is an ACA Coastal kayak Instructor with certifications in CPR, Wilderness First Aid and BCU Canoe Safety. He will most often be found enthusiastically sharing his love for kayaking and the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Philosophy: Every experience must be fun, safe and respectful of the environment.
Suzi Beaumont is our Webmaster.
While she is inspired by web design and spends long hours at the computer, Suzi’s connection with Uncommon Adventures
is the “adventures” part! In her previous career in university outdoor education,
Suzi logged 12 years in a leadership role on adventures that included caving, rockclimbing, backpacking, whitewater
and paddle touring. She founded Georgia Tech’s sea kayaking program, and has led paddling trips to the sea islands of
coastal Georgia and the Carolinas, as well as the mountain lakes of the southeast. Nowadays, Suzi is a freelance web
designer who works from her home in Atlanta. Her company is BeauCreations Web Design.